Free Dental Insurance For Low-Income & Unemployed Adults

Government-sponsored Medicaid offers free dental insurance to low-income families who meet the eligibility criteria established by their state. Other taxpayers fund the premiums.

Children frequently qualify because the Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnostic, and Treatment (EPSDT) benefit provides comprehensive oral care for recipients under 21.

Adults are eligible less frequently because each state decides whether to support oral care for recipients over 21.

Unemployed people can qualify while collecting when the benefits fit under the income limit and after the checks stop.  Senior citizens dually eligible for Medicare and Medicaid can also take advantage but could face resource limitations. 

Free Dental Insurance Through Medicaid

Many people qualify for free dental insurance through Medicaid but get lost in a maze of government bureaucracy and red tape. These articles can help you sort through the rules and find local dentists accepting recipients.

Free Dental Insurance for Low-Income

Medicaid offers free dental insurance for low-income families living just above the Federal Poverty Level (FPL). FPL includes two critical components you want to research before applying to your local county agency.

  1. Modified Adjusted Income: do not overstate
  2. Number of Household Members: do not understate

The federal government suggests a 133% PFL eligibility cutoff. However, each state makes the ultimate decision and has different rules for specific populations such as pregnant women, senior citizens, and the disabled.

Federal Poverty Level (PFL)

Household Size2022 MAGI Limit
Family of 2$18,310
Family of 3$23,030
Family of 4$27,750
Each extra person+$4,720

Free Dental Insurance for Unemployed

Individuals dealing with an extended bout with unemployment might qualify for free dental insurance through Medicaid because job loss equates to low income.

Medicaid eligibility rules rely on your current household income level, which could be low enough while unemployed; not what you made in the past while working, or a projection into the future when you might have a new job.

Medicaid counts your Modified Adjusted Income (MAGI), which includes current unemployment benefits. Each state has unique benefit levels for unemployment and MAGI cutoffs for Medicaid.

Therefore, you might qualify while collecting unemployment or have to wait until the benefits end before becoming eligible.

Free Dental Insurance for Adults by State

Medicaid provides free dental insurance for children across the country, but the benefits vary by state for adults. The region where you live determines the types of oral care you might receive, courtesy of the government.

Emergency Care

Adults might qualify for free dental insurance that covers emergency oral care only if they live in one of sixteen states. For instance, Medicaid might pay for the urgent extraction of broken teeth after a non-biting accident – and little or nothing else.

MissouriNew HampshireOklahoma
West Virginia  

Other Oral Care

Medicaid provides free dental insurance with more comprehensive benefits to adults living in the thirty-four other states (provided they meet the low-income qualifying criteria). However, the services covered and the annual maximum vary considerably based on your residence state.

  • Restorative care: root canals, dentures, crowns
  • Oral surgery: wisdom tooth extractions, jaw operations
  • Preventive services: exams, x-rays, cleanings, fluoride
  • Periodontal treatment: root scaling and planing, gingival flap surgery
  • Orthodontic braces: only when medically necessary

Free Dental Insurance for Seniors

Medicaid provides free health and dental insurance for millions of seniors over 65 who are dual-eligible with Medicare, which does not cover oral care. The senior citizen must meet the low-income qualifying criteria established by their state for relevant programs.

  1. Qualified Medicare Beneficiary (QMB)
    1. Income less than 100% of PFL
    1. Resources below three times the SSI limit
    1. Covers Part A and Part B premiums (free health insurance)
    1. Covers deductibles, coinsurance, and copayments
  2. Specified Low-Income Medicare Beneficiary (SLMB)
    1. Income between 100% and 120% of PFL
    1. Resources below three times the SSI limit
    1. Covers Part B premiums (subsidized health insurance)